Home secretary Suella Braverman has a sickening “dream”—to see a flight deport migrants to Rwanda. She made the comments during an interview with the Telegraph newspaper at the Tory conference last week.
“I would love to be having a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda. That’s my dream, that’s my dream, it’s my obsession,” Braverman said. She added that she would like to see the flight before Christmas. Braverman then used her conference speech to promise a blanket ban on anyone who enters Britain “irregularly”—including on small boats across the Channel.
People fleeing war, poverty and climate chaos are very unlikely to use anything but “irregular” methods given the lack of official ways to come to Britain. The charity Care4Calais called the government’s proposals “barbaric, untruthful and unnecessary”. This “is blatant victim blaming of incredibly vulnerable people, simply for the purpose of grabbing headlines”, said Clare Moseley, the founder of the charity.
Braverman also wants to increase the use of detention centres. Seven centres and some short-term holding centres exist, yet the Home Office wants to open two more to hold 1,000 males. But Labour’s disgusting response was to say Tory ministers are too soft.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said the government was not expelling migrants quickly enough, and criticised “12 years of Tory failure” on immigration. Reeves told Sky News, “The problem is the government are not deporting people today, even when their claims have failed.”
It shows how Labour will use racist ideas to attack the Tories from the right—and underlines how little change a Starmer government would bring. Meanwhile vulnerable refugees continue to suffer in a racist immigration system. The number of potential trafficking victims who have been detained by the Home Office has tripled in four years.
In 2017, 501 referrals were made for victims locked in detention centres. Last year this rose to 1,611. A report Abuse by the System found that 90 percent of those who claim to be trafficked are found to be genuine. In the first half of 2022 alone as many as 97 percent were, and hundreds of child asylum seekers are at risk of abuse after being wrongly classified as adults.
Information from 64 local authorities showed at least 450 young people whose ages were disputed by local authorities were children. In the first three months of 2022, 211 young asylum seekers were referred to children’s services with some 150 placed in detention centres or adult accommodation. Two-thirds were found to be children.
Previously people who looked “significantly over 25” were classed as adults, whereas now it’s any who look over 18. The Home Office released information claiming between January 2018 and March 2022 two-thirds who said they were children were adults. In reality, it was around 20 percent.
While the Tories and Labour battle to be the most hostile, vulnerable refugees are trapped in a racist system.
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